Eco-Media: How the Natural World is Transforming the Nature of Media

Symposium:


Presentation Title:

  • Eco-Media: How the Natural World is Transforming the Nature of Media

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • Eco-media is the creative use of new media tools to connect to the natural world. Recent projects include digital media systems that respond to real time and model-based data describing the global environment. As was seen in the recent Tsunami disaster, thousands of lives can depend on the interpretation of global data, and Eco-media art explores how the interpretation of data impacts life aesthetically, socially and politically.

    Abstract

    I will present what I call Eco-media art projects. Eco-media is the creative use of new media tools to connect to the natural world. For example: an Eco-media work might be a networked media system that interacts with weather or climate both locally and globally, or might use media tools to analyze and respond to human over-consumption of natural resources in order to promote greater efficiency and less waste.

    New media is a discipline that changes rapidly based on technological and scientific research, and in order to respond to these changes, many new media artists find they must be engaged with science and technology. Most new media artists follow trends in computer science and some even develop their own software, but increasingly, new media artists have also connected with developments in other areas of science and technology, for example: biotechnology, robotics, or nanotechnology. In my own work, I have explored emerging technologies, written and developed custom and open source software, and worked with scientists from various disciplines to explore new aesthetic forms.

    I have been drawn to scientists who study the natural world, in particular weather and climate. I have discovered that developing technology has also caused dramatic changes in this area. Faster computers have allowed scientists to develop more detailed weather and climate models, and networking has allowed for real-time sharing of information. This new information is a great benefit to science, but it also can and should be explored by artists to encourage an aesthetic appreciation for nature in all its complexity and beauty. As was seen in recent Tsunami and hurricane disasters, thousands of lives can depend on the interpretation of weather and climate data, and my interest as an artist is in how the interpretation of this data impacts life aesthetically, socially and politically. This exploration of information about the natural world that combines art and science is Eco-media.

    I developed the idea of Eco-Media over the past five years by creating a series of art projects that use digital media to respond to real time and model-based data describing the global environment. In the process of creating those projects, I worked closely with meteorologists and atmospheric scientists, with climate scientists, with computer scientists and with other digital media artists.

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